There is always a temptation to shoot for the “beauty shots”, that is to make every image gorgeous. I admit that I often spend way too much time trying to achieve the perfect look. I always remind myself however, that what our clients want most in their wedding video is the story. Having many beautiful shots without the underlying story is like an empty gift wrapped box. Pretty to look at, but nothing inside. No matter what, we always put the emphasis on the story. The story is told through the words spoken on the wedding day. These words may come from the officiant, the person delivering the toast, the bride and groom’s family, or even the couple themselves.
Every wedding is different. Sometimes there is a beautiful sermon or a moving toast. Other times the ceremony is uninspired and the toasts perfunctory. So not every event will be equal emotionally. It can be a challenge to the editor when we don’t have much to work with. There is always something though. Eye candy is pretty, but words are profound. And it the words that will be remembered. That is our goal in telling the story.Read More
In recent posts I have often referred to our style as “wedding filmmaking” rather than wedding videography. The clip below from Chicago based Zacuto Productions and featuring noted wedding filmmakers John Goolsby, Kristin * of Bliss* Video Productions, and Joe Simon of Joe Simon Productions. In this clip John, Kristin*, and Joe discuss what makes a wedding film and why it is different that wedding video.
“Beyond Wedding Video . . ” This is the new lead phrase on our home page. What do we mean by this? Wedding videography has seen enormous changes in the past decade. In the 90s most videographers did little more than record the events of the day. Sadly enough, the result was often a long boring video that was watched once or twice and then put away in a drawer. To many videographers still deliver nothing more. For couples who have seen “old school” videos, there seems little reason to spend money on something that they don’t value.
We along with other progressive studios are taking a different approach. To produce short beautifully crafted mini-movies of the wedding day. The emphasis is on feeling, emotion and beauty. It is all done in the edit. We match words and music for emotional impact. Great care is taken in the look and sound of the film. The challenge is to find and draw out the bride and groom’s story.
It wasn’t uncommon a few years ago to load wedding videos with effects. We don’t like to use any effect unless it enhances the story. So you will see almost no fancy transitions in our work, perhaps an occasional blur or cross dissolve but mostly straight cuts. I always say that if it doesn’t look good with a simple cut, then it hasn’t been edited correctly. We do use slow motion occasionally, but only a little and only if it enhances the story. Our titles are simple white on black as fancy titling is nothing more that eye candy.
Of course every client gets a “documentary style” edit of the ceremony and reception. That way there will be a complete record of the day. But the centerpiece is always the Wedding Story, because it is there that the real meaning of of the day will be preserved.Read More
In the past year we have been placing a much greater emphasis on short, beautifully edited mini-movies of the wedding day (we call them “Wedding Stories”) instead of the more traditional wedding video. There are several reasons for this shift. The most important one is that we are not just in the business of documenting the event, it is our job to capture the feeling of the day. We want our wedding videos to be something that is treasured and watched for years to come.
Our Wedding Stories are typically short (from about 30 minutes down to 7 or 8). Each one is unique. The idea is to present the essence of the day in a moving and entertaining manner. We want the viewer to be drawn into the experience. Like the title of this post says, less is more. Since every client gets the complete ceremony and main reception events as extras, we are free to get to the emotional core of the day. This takes time and requires extensive editing. In addition to the edit itself, there is music selection, as well as picking out appropriate audio for voice overs. It is also very important that your Wedding Story looks and sounds special. This requires color grading and sound design.
All of this takes time which is why the Wedding Story is only available with the Plus and Ultra Package.Â It is worth it though. For a more detailed explanation and sample video clips, visit our gallery page.
Included in the Deluxe and Ultimate packages is our Wedding Highlights Movie. It is sometimes difficult to explain to clients exactly what it is. Our goal here is to get to the emotional center of the wedding and create a short film that preserves the day, not just images and sound, but the feeling of the wedding. We do this by taking the emotional highlights and putting them together with appropriate music in a free-form structure.
Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. These do not have to be in chronological order however. A well written story also has anticipation, climax, and resolution. Climax and resolution are the key points that the video is structured around. Often (but not always) the climax will the vows. Resolution creates the ending, leaving the viewer feeling satisfied that the story has been told and is complete. In the past we have used a linear story line. The production starts with the getting ready segment, proceeds to the ceremony and then to the reception. It concludes with a closing montage of the day’s events. We use voiceovers from the ceremony and reception (toasts, readings, the sermon etc) to reinforce and build the emotional center. Music is also an important part of this. We choose music that we feel will enhance the story as well as songs chosen by the couple. We are moving towards using a less linear format.
The goal here is to emphasize the emotional center. To that end we may not necessarily proceed from bridal prep to ceremony to reception. The video may end with the vows, or perhaps the first dance. It depends on what we have filmed, what we have as voiceover materiel and many other factors. In some cases we will not "time shift" the program if we feel that a linear storyline is best. The most important point is that the story must be engaging, coherent, and meaningful.
Our clients often wonder why a 20 to 40 minute highlights video takes much more time to produce then a two hour documentary style edit. This is because we spend many hours discovering the story within and bringing it out through artistic editing. The emphasis is not on just stringing together the wedding ceremony and reception, but bringing the wedding day film to a higher level. We hope that each couple, years after their wedding, will still play their Wedding Highlights and feel one again like bride and groom. Here are some examples of our Wedding Highlights Program.Read More